Post-democracycan be defined as the withering away of authentic democracy whereelections and representation are portrayed as a façade. However, thebasic institutions in post-democracy still share some of theessential characteristics of a democratic regime. A post-democraticsystem has certain features that include a decline of activecitizenship and reduction in effective mass political participationthat are found in democratic states. As a matter of fact, politicalactivities in a post-democratic society gradually change into apathyand alienation. Secondly, a post-democratic system is dominated byexclusive elite circles, particularly those standing for businessinterests. This paper will analyze how persuasive is the argumentthat contemporary politics in developed nations such as the US, UK,and EU is post-democratic.
Firstly,in the present political analysis, the democratic deficit has beenused to analyze the political order in America. The electoral processis marred by corruption where money is used to manipulate theelections. According to Mazrui, the United States of America hasdemonstrated democratization of the executive branch in the 21stcentury through major Supreme Court cases such as the “CitizensUnited v. Federal Election Commission” that restricts for-profitand non-profit organizations from financing campaigns of givenpolitical party (Mazrui 3). The court ruled that unions andcorporations should not use their treasury resources to fund campaignfunctions such as advertising. However, the judiciary and thelegislative have gradually relapsed into a negative post-democracy(Demetriou 54). For example, the rich in America, EU, and UK havebeen empowered by the Supreme Court, which has continued tocontradict precedents that legally regulated function of money inelections. The Supreme Court allows freewheeling money utilization bycorporations in the nations to influence elections. This underminesthe principles of democratic states that allow citizens to electtheir preferred legislators without intimidation, as well as removethem from power when they fail to fulfill the legislature dutiescitizens expect (Vis 78).
Indemocratic states, every citizen is equal before the law. Thisimplies that politicians may face prosecution, and even jail time ifthey break the law. However, post democracies offer politicians andthe rich prosecution immunity. As a result, the rules used in UK, EUand USA lacks universality because they are manipulated to suit theelite while oppressing the poor (Vis 95).
Suspectsin democratic states can choose to speak or remain silent toaccusations that could have led to their arrest. The Miranda rightsensure that citizens have a right to silence and access to anattorney after police arrest him or her for a crime allegation (Roy36). However, Miranda rights no longer provide rights or any form ofprotection to suspects in post-democratic countries during the lawenforcement process. In fact, the Supreme Court has increased policepowers and weakened suspect’s rights. Torture, intimidation, andeven illegal detention are common in countries such as USA, EU, andUK thus, they have become post-democratic (Mazrui 4).
Inhis book, Mazrui further states that studies show that the electionof a black president in America resulted into the polarization of thetwo political parties in the nation, thus a measurement of a trend ina post-democratic society. The opposition objects many policies theDemocrats propose based on ethnic differences instead of value of thepolicies (Mazrui 4). In democratic states, eve opposition doessupport some policies the primary government has implemented for thesake of public good. In addition, political parties have support ofpeople from varied backgrounds (Mazrui 5). Unfortunately, politicalparties such as the Democrat in the US enjoy massive support from theAfrican Americans because the president belongs to the minorityfaction. On the other hand, the Republican have extensive supportfrom the white population as Caucasians hold the top positions(Fuentes-Nieva and Galasso 2).
Additionally,an enormous gap exists between the rich and poor, and this showincreased inequality. The American political scene is dominated bypolitical elites (plutocratic) and the Christian right which havereplaced genuine democratic leadership (Fuentes-Nieva and Galasso 3).However, the elite dominating politics serve a few privileged inplace of the majority of citizens in the nation (Mazrui 4). For thisreason, the argument that contemporary politics in US ispost-democratic is persuasive.
Inthe UK, on the other hand, society changes, the economy, as well asclass identities have created a post-democracy (Fichera et al., 142).For example, ordinary people have disengaged in politics with the UKranking top among European countries with the lowest politicalparticipation. According to El-Ojeili, involvement in the votingprocess continues to decline steadily since the 1950 generalelection. This is demonstrated by the local election participation,which indicated a 40% voter turnout decrease. Furthermore, the votingrates and the average attendance have drastically fallen as politicalinequality continues to rise sharply. On the other hand, membershipin the political parties in UK has declined, and this is considered arecipe for disaster, as parties become monopolists to politicalcareers access (El-Ojeili 96). Roy argues that the high concentrationof political power in UK has led to high levels of inequality aspolitical parties seem the least trusted as a there exist a growingdistrust between the national government and them. Specifically, mostinstitution such as the justice system, armed forces suffer a declinein confidence, and this has resulted in a majority of proteststargeted at the government (Roy 101). From this analysis, theargument that contemporary politics in UK is post-democratic ispersuasive.
Thepremise of democracy is establishing an administration by the people,for the people and for the people. In fact, liberal democraciesadvocate individual freedom, transparency and rule of law,accountability, equal participation and representation (Roy 81). Onthe contrary, some of these elements have eroded severely in the UK,EU, and US, thereby making them post-democracies. Politicalscientists describe American democracy as a repressive plutocracysince it disregards the interests of the poor and the middle class asevidenced by the huge wage gap between the social classes in thepublic service sector (Roy 88).
Finally,the EU has been described as a model for post-democracy andcharacterized by lack credibility. Alternatively, the majority of themember states are not actively involved in legislation and politicalchoices because of structural challenges (Fuentes-Nieva and Galasso3). The EU governmental structure is made up of processes that cannotbe explained by realism. According to Demetriou, the EU lacksaccountability and widespread influence. The process ofdemocratization has been reduced to general elections with experts’voice dominating, instead of that of the people. The EU has beenaccused of taking democratic values for granted, and there is lackdiscussion with partners of what democracy entail. Using thisperspective then the argument that contemporary politics in UK ispost-democratic is persuasive (Vis 95).
Inconclusion, post-democracy has political roots in class-partyde-alignment where a weak relationship exists between the electoratesand the political parties. As a result, this has led to deprivationof a political voice of the ordinary working people. Politics inwestern politics have become tied to globalization and state powerdecline. From this analysis, a post-democratic system has beencharacterized by declined participation political and domination byexclusive elite circles. In these systems, elections andrepresentation are portrayed as a façade. Furthermore, public faithand political equality is necessary for a democratic system,therefore, using the argument that contemporary politics in mostdemocracies is post-democratic is thus persuasive.
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Fuentes-Nieva,Ricardo and GalassoNicholas.Working for the Few: Political Capture and Economic Inequality., 2014. Print.
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